Kidney pericytes: A novel therapeutic target in interstitial fibrosis

Stuart W. Smith, Claudia Schrimpf, Dipen J. Parekh, Manjeri Venkatachalam, Jeremy S. Duffield

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Chronic Kidney Disease affects approximately 8% of the population and contributes considerably to premature morbidity and mortality. Recently reported studies have highlighted an important role for resident microvascular pericytes in the pathogenesis of kidney fibrosis. Pericytes are emerging as the predominant source of the activated, matrix depositing, stromal cell population seen in progressive fibrosis. Further, pericyte activation leads to their detachment from the vasculature, triggers unstable microvasculature and leads to rarefaction. Strategies to modulate pericyte function in these processes are therefore therapeutically attractive. In this review we will first describe our current understanding of the structure and function of the pericyte and the role these cells play in angiogenesis and the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis. Novel therapeutic approaches targeting pericytes in murine models of renal disease will then be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1503-1514
Number of pages12
JournalHistology and Histopathology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Angiogenesis
  • CD248
  • Kidney fibrosis
  • Pericytes
  • Vasculature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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